TMZ: Naming The Victim
Gossip site identifies celebrity's minor son as sex crime victim
APRIL 30, 2008 -- The web's leading gossip outlet, TMZ.com, today published the name and photo of a 14-year-old boy whom the site reported has allegedly been the victim of a sex crime.
The child is the son of a celebrity, which apparently makes his identification newsworthy for the site, which is co-owned by Time Warner's AOL and Telepictures units (and which is the media giant's only property to pay for stories and tips).
According to the "Exclusive" TMZ story, which we've reprinted below in a redacted form, the child is "at the center of a criminal investigation" and the "alleged victim of 'unlawful sex.'"
The boy, TMZ reported, was dating a 22-year-old woman whose ex-boyfriend became jealous and called Los Angeles police. As a result, the site reported, cops are examining whether "an adult [was] having sex with someone under 18."
Along with using the child's name, the site also ran a photo of the alleged victim that was taken when he was 10.
Billy Bob's Son Alleged Sex Crime Victim
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Billy Bob Thornton's son is at the center of a criminal investigation -- the alleged victim of "unlawful sex."
Here's what we know. Willie Thornton, age 14, was dating a 22-year-old woman. Her ex-boyfriend apparently became jealous. Sources say the ex called the LAPD, informing them his former GF was having sex with a minor.
Law enforcement sources tell us there is an "active investigation" into the crime of "unlawful sex" -- translated, an adult having sex with someone under 18. We're told Willie is cooperating with the sex crimes unit. And, we're told, cops have also interviewed Billy Bob.
BTW, the picture was taken four years ago.